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The implications of young children's digital
consumerist play for changing the kindergarten curriculum 2004
PhD, Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University
PhD in Psychology, Professor, Oxford University, Oxford, Great Britain
PhD, Research Fellow, Senior Proven Research Team, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University
PhD, Executive Assistant, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University
PhD, Professor of Education, Director of Research, University of Sheffield
Cultural-historical theory makes claims about the place of play in children's development and its relationship to epoch-typical forms of development. This paper reports from a study that is attempting to understand the changing developmental context for young children in digitalconsumerist cultures and the consequences of this for kindergarten curriculum. Five children from kindergartens in Melbourne, Australia, were videotaped engaging with a series of artefacts on a continuum from traditional/generic through to digital-consumerist. The children were found to engage with the artefacts in ways that are largely consistent with existing perspectives on play. However, problemsolving predominated with the traditional toys, whilst children's preexisting knowledge was much more apparent in consumerist and digital-consumerist play. The paper concludes that teachers need to incorporate changing understandings about the potential of digital-consumerist artefacts to enhance play in early childhood education into their curriculum decisionmaking, thereby contributing to changes in the culture of kindergartens and in children's general cultural formation.
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